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Sunday, October 27, 2013

What's The Deal With Being Famous, Anyway?

Tiffany thinks she's famous...
Admiration can be a bit tricky and something that varies between people's opinion as much as their skin tone, nationality or religious stance.  What I mean by saying that is how people react to different forms of celebrity and how they allow those people to impact them whether they have met them in person or not.  Some of these actions make no sense to me, but I will get into that shortly.

When I worked for my previous employer, I met quite a few people whom many would consider to be famous, including current and former Braves baseball players, a few professional musicians, professional golfers, NFL stars, and some prominent business figures - but I never cared, because to me, people are people.  I remember once, a coworker approached me and said:
"Hey man, did you see Ed Reed?!"
"Who?"
"Ed Reed, man!  Plays for the Ravens!  Come on, man."
Nope, and he seemed a little offended about that.  I had no idea who he was, but later found out that the man in question and I had spoken briefly prior to being told that information.  Some other coworkers of mine were on the same boat as the first one, even though most of them did not pay attention to football and would have passed him on the street any given day without a second thought;  but as soon as they were told of his prominence, the swooning became pretty fierce.  That sort of reaction really confuses me.  

The thing is, I do not really follow sports, so I could cross paths with most iconic athletes and have no idea who they were.  Even people I could pick out of a crowd as having some form of popular culture significance do not really matter to me as far as my nerves and emotions are concerned.  Dave Matthews is my favorite musician, by far, but I would like to think that meeting him would not make me act like a belligerent air-head, though thanking him for his music and shaking his hand would not be out of the question at all.  I just see people as people - end of story.

Do not for one minute take this as me saying that having an admiration for someone who has made an impact in your life is a bad thing, because it is not at all.  If someone seemingly untouchable and admired by you is close enough that you have the chance to thank, them, I hope you can one day.   Maybe I think on a different plane than most, but really, the only "famous" person I have met and given a second thought to was Arthur Blank and that admiration has nothing to do with sports, but personal achievement on his part.  I admire business and artistic brilliance more than anything else, and he personifies what being successful in business is all about.  A few years ago, he knew me by name, but I still never saw him as anyone better than me or felt the need to give him anymore attention than someone else who crossed my path.  That is not to say I would turn down an opportunity to pick his brain a bit and have a good conversation beyond casual small-talk, but you know what I mean.  

As I said before:  I must be on a different plane than most people because I have never "freaked out" or become nervous around anyone who is famous, yet I have seen so many others do exactly that for reasons I cannot seem to understand.  The world I worked in a few years ago had upper-management and partners within the company running around, telling anyone below them to suck up to anyone of certain fame and to treat them more prominently than anyone else who walked in the door, but instead of doing so, I would often just stay away.  Anyone, even "celebrities" know when someone is putting on a fake smile or being unrealistically nice, and them having a title of fame is not enough for me to act like that.  Maybe I am missing something here, but I still do not see the point.

I guess the thing about me is that I find value in different places than most and do not pay attention to the facets of who "should" be famous, according to mainstream media or sports agendas.  I would much rather admire the people I can actually spend time with and those who allow me to invest in them the same way they invest in me.  The real value I see in life has everything to do with real, tangible relationships, and has nothing to do with what I see on television or in movies.  

I admire my parents and my sister because we have a family bond that has never been questioned and never been broken.  We are a solid unit which is rare as so many other families are completely broken, unfortunately.

I admire the few, real friends I have, because they understand me more than any celebrity would ever take the time to.  

I admire my best friend because she has been through quite a bit in her life and always emerged as the most beautiful, intelligent, and driven woman I have ever met.  There is something more special about her than anyone else I have had the honor of knowing.

I would choose spending time with any of the people above as opposed to someone famous who would most likely soon forget me.  That is the real and honest truth, and I hope you believe me.

"But, Drew, you always say that music speaks to you and helps you through life.  You're telling me none of those great musicians you speak so highly of would phase you if you were given a chance to meet them?"

I would love to meet any musician who has made an impact on me because of my love for music, but music is about the composition and the emotions it creates within me.  Music is one of the few things in life which can catch you in the moment.  Meeting someone on that level whom I respect would be great, but is not at all necessary for me to keep enjoying their music.  

Sometimes you can listen to a song you have heard in the past many times at just the right moment so that it creates an entirely new emotion within you which you had never experienced before.  I appreciate the person behind creating that moment and admire their brilliance, yet they are all just normal people like everyone else - but given a great and respected gift.  

At the end of it all, while music gives you moments of perspective, clarity, and emotion, I have a small group of people I love who I can live those experiences with on a daily basis, without question, without expectation, while the moments spent in the presence of anyone famous will be brief and most likely not all that enthusing once the initial shock value wears off.

Where was I going with this?  
I do not know.  Just live the things which are most important.
Value beauty in every single day.

Grace and Peace,
-Drew

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